Decorum at the crime scene

Lt Gen K.S. Brar was attacked in London on Sunday night. It was Monday evening before TV news attacked the story. Listen in on the Times Now report for a socio-cultural encounter between East and West.

It began with a statement from the London police. Spokesman Mathew Russell said, "The police were called at approximately 10.40 pm to Old Quebec Street to attend to a man who had been assaulted. They discovered a man in his 70s suffering from injuries caused by a knife.'' He was taken to hospital and his condition was "serious but not believed to be life threatening". Short, to the point, no more, no less.

Enter the intrepid Times Now reporter, a talkative if not argumentative Indian. What is the name of the victim, he asked, perfectly reasonably. But the spokesperson was not a reasonable man. He was an English policeman who was not prepared to say anything beyond what he had been told to say. We do not release names of victims, he replied. Is it Lt Gen K.S. Brar, persisted the reporter unnecessarily, since the headlines on the screen were screaming, "Lt Gen Brar attacked in London". The punctilious spokesperson was unmoved: "We don't give out names of victims".

Do we know who the assailants are, asked the reporter, changing tack. Inquiries are on, replied the taciturn gentleman. Is the victim "still in danger?" asked the reporter, rattled by this uncommunicative behaviour. "He remains in hospital", came the precise reply. "And the attack was last night?'' demanded the reporter, knowing full well the answer. "Yes, around 10.40 pm." "And it was in front of a hotel?" "We have no information", replied the stiff upper lip. "But it was on Old Quebec St?" insisted an exasperated reporter. "Yes, Old Quebec St." "And, he [the victim] is out of danger?" "Serious,'' pat came the reply, "but not believed to be life threatening".

... contd.

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